Archive for June, 2012

…at least on those mornings when I wake up with words roaming around in my head:  I lay there in the margin between asleep and awake—you know the place—and run the words through alteration, addition, and recombination until they settle into a seemly form.  Then I rehearse the result to myself, over and over, trying to memorize the sound and flow, and when I think I have at least the basic essence of it, I rise.  It is a quick but gentle rising, a mix of urgency and care, as if I’ve awoken already upright with a bucket of water on my head which I must get to its ultimate receptacle without spilling a drop.  That is the best way of waking, with urgency and purpose and a reason to live one more day.

That’s one of my favorite ways of waking up in the morning.  What’s yours?

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“Find your contact.”

A simple command, but the students understood. Many were drawn to trees. A few pressed their bodies against boulders. One lay flat on the ground. Malia looked around the forest clearing. Nothing spoke to her. Others were already assimilating—hands melting into bark, faces fading to stone grey. A twinge of panic. Then, the tiniest whisper of energy. A damselfly. It flitted forward and she immediately followed.

“Malia? Malia!”

Tutor’s voice called her back. She was already beyond the clearing’s edge. Leaving her classmates rooted to their chosen element, she allowed the air to carry her away.

***

Hope you enjoyed my 100-word story. Feel free to comment. Check out “Friday Fictioneers,” a fun feature on Madison Woods‘ website. Take a look and find more great stories, or add one of your own.

When I accepted my husband’s name, I had no ulterior motive. True, I was an English major, and any self-respecting English major considers publishing her own prose or poetry at some point. She also has a nurtured instinct for irony and appreciates good wordplay. But really, I just loved the guy and was traditional enough to willingly take his name as the label for our new family unit. How was I to know that this lovely irony would turn into a dilemma years later when I was struggling to find a name for my blog?

In the beginning, the jokes about finding “Mr. Right,” were charming. Years later, they’d lost some of their sparkle. This was a warning to me. What today seems catchy and possibly clever, tomorrow will be beyond a yawn-fest. I had to face facts. I could not rely on “Keli Writes.” At first glance, it could well evoke the thought “Yeah? Don’t we all?” Attention-getting? Not really…. But when the reader realizes it’s a play on my last name? Aha! Now we’re talking. That deserves an amused snort. And… Joke’s over. Back to dreary.

I’d done my research. I knew I should keep it simple and use my name. It also made sense that the blog title should include something descriptive. If you put Shakespeare at the top of a blog, you know what you’re getting. But I’m not Shakespeare. If I used only my name, I could be Keli Wright, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. At this point I realized that as serendipitous as being a writer named Wright may seem, it actually presents a problem. I can’t use “Keli Wright Writes,” “Keli Wright, Writer,” “Keli Wright’s Writing {insert blog, corner, world, or anything else here}.” How irritating is it to read “Write” over and over, even with different spellings? I mean, this is way beyond a bit of alluring alliteration. Clearly, I was stuck.

What does a writer do when she is completely stuck? She drags out her thesaurus. But nothing writerish seemed to fit. Author? Not yet. Poet? Essayist? Novelist? Not sure I’m ready to commit. Scrivener? Wordsmith? Hmm…possibilities. Scribbler? A little too close to “Keli Wright, Dribbler.” (And this is a real concern for someone traumatized by childhood rhyming games. I mean, really. Try to find an attractive word that rhymes with Keli.)

Then another thought struck. A memory, actually. The memory of a blog I’d wanted to start a few years ago. Or rather that blog’s name. “Open-Faced Sandwich.” I’d intended it as a venue for civil discourse on a variety of untouchable topics, but I was never confident in my ability to maintain order and respect in the completely open forum I’d originally envisioned.

“Keli Wright’s Open-Faced Sandwich”–it’s a risky name for a writer’s blog. It could easily be confused with a food blog. But it metaphorically encompassed my blog-vision: someplace where literature and literacy, words and wordsmithing, and an eclectic mix of inspirational matter would come together as deliciously as a well-made sandwich, diverse ingredients combining and recombining in endless variations. This blog would be a place where people, as unique and different as the elements of that proverbial sandwich, could bring their perspectives and experiences and add layers of tastiness to our creation.

Ah, the waxing rhapsodic of a writer with a vision. Does reality ever measure up? And the self-questioning begins. So many questions. Most I can’t answer. I can’t see the end from the beginning. What it all comes down to is this: Do I want to do it? Do I want to essay into the blogosphere? I’m finding that I do.